Staples: Nutritional Yeast

March 5, 2012 at 7:44 pm Leave a comment

Going vegan has been quite the journey. A lot of flip-flopping and a lot of reading. A lot of saying “Okay, let’s do this!” and then not doing it. I’m not vegan yet. I’m not even fully vegetarian. I’m experimenting. I’m looking up recipes and trying them. I’m finding out what I like and how to make it. It’s going to be a long process, but I’m okay with that.

Blogging has also been a learning process. I’ve found a lot of recipes off of some really fantastic blogs (to name a few: Clean Eating Chelsey, Chocolate Covered Katie, and Running off the Reeses – that last one isn’t really for recipes, but she’s hilarious). A lot of the blogs I’ve been reading have segments or themes, so they post on the same days and each post has a general topic or idea. Springing off of that, my newest segment is Staples. Staples posts will discuss vegan staples – ingredients, nutrients, etc that are essential to a vegan diet. As I said, I’m still learning and I’m certainly not a nutritionist, so this is just what I have learned are important to include in a vegan diet.

My first Staple post is all about nutritional yeast. First, I’d like to say it’s difficult to find, at least in my area. I don’t have a Whole Foods close and Trader Joe’s isn’t close either. There are a couple stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, but I’m not really satisfied with them. I’ve been finding a LOT of ingredients in my local supermarkets, specifically Market Basket and Hannaford; however, nutritional yeast does not exist at either store. Market Basket has employees who literally know where every single products exists. “Hi, I’m looking for ___” and they’ll find it for you. Whatever you can think of, guys. And if they don’t have it, they know they don’t have it. This was the case with nutritional yeast. I did find it at the Vitamin Shoppe! In fact, I took the last tub, and had this panicky feeling as I left that they’d never restock it.

So every blog you’ll ever read that discusses nutritional yeast will tell you that it has a nutty smell and a cheesy flavor. I’m going to tell you the same thing…because it really does. The color is not attractive. It’s yellow, but not a bright, happy, let’s-paint-the-baby-room-in-it yellow. I guess you could call it mustard. The first thing I did when I opened the container was smell it. Yep, nutty! The first recipe I used it in was the Quinoa Pizza Casserole, but it was mixed in, so I couldn’t taste it at all.

With the snow day last week and having absolutely nothing to eat, I decided to make macaroni (or pasta, for all of you that aren’t from New England) and butter. Pasta, Earth Balance, Garlic. YUM! And then I remembered every vegan blog I’ve ever read says that they sprinkle it on top of food for a parmesan flavor (and inspiration from Clean Eating Chelsey’s recent post on it). Hot diggity! Poured on a scoop, mixed it in and, yes, cheesy flavor! It was actually really tasty and I know it’ll be something I use often. Below is the exact brand I used – yum!

The reason it’s a staple is because it’s contains protein and is fortified with tons of vitamins, especially B12. It’s the one nutrient that vegans can’t get from other foods because it only comes from animal products, so it’s important to either take a supplement or eat foods that are fortified with B12. I really enjoyed the flavor and can’t wait to use it again.


Entry filed under: Food and Recipes, Staples, Vegan Thoughts.

Snow Day! Asian Feast

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